Rivers, Rivers, more Rivers

Odometer:  141,698 - 142,294

Written by Jerrica

Since we left Utah in such a rush, the first few days of van living were chaotic and disorganized.  Luckily, we were able to counter those stressful moments during the first 4 days with some amazing whitewater rafting.  We rafted 3 epic rivers in the first 4 days of our journey.

Rafting has been one of our favorite hobbies as a married couple. Kevin bought me a raft for my birthday one month after we had been married.  If I hadn't already known he was the man of my dreams before, I knew then.  He exceeded expectations again when a year and a half later he surprised me with a duckie for Christmas.  Kevin knows how to win me over.


June 5 - Snake River, Jackson Hole, WY

We met up with some friends from Driggs, Idaho and rafted the lower canyon of the Snake River. I spent the summers of 2008 and 2011 here as a whitewater guide here and both years were considered high water years: 21,800 cfs in 2008, and 26,100 cfs in 2011.  When we rolled into Jackson on June 5th the river was running just below 30,000 cfs. I was giddy as we drove up the canyon alongside the river.  Our crew consisted of 3 people on the raft with me on the oars (4 people total) and 3 kayakers.  It was a real treat to run the river at nearly record breaking levels.  We couldn't have timed it better.

 Snake river - view from lunch counter rapid

Snake river - view from lunch counter rapid


June 7 - Salmon River, Salmon, ID

Two days later we found ourselves passing through Salmon, Idaho.  Our friends from Driggs suggested we hit the daily stretch of the Salmon River and we couldn't pass it up.  This time we ran the stretch in our duckie and I think Kevin and I laughed the entire time.  The rapids were plentiful throughout and plenty fun for duckies.  We locked up Kevin's road bike at the take-out and being the dummies we are, we left the keys at the put-in.  Luckily (and stupidly) Kev had locked the bike up to large sage-brush type "tree" which didn't take too much effort to break, so he was able to break the bike free and ride up the road and get the van. Good thing because that road was desolate!  On the way out we noticed a house... A HOUSE... floating in the river!  The river was running so high that it swept a house away!

 salmon river

salmon river


June 8 - Lochsa River, Between Lolo, MT and Syringa, ID

We wrapped up our river marathon by floating the Lochsa River just outside Missoula, Montana.  The river was running high and we were unfamiliar with the river, but luckily we met 2 kayakers at the put in who knew the river well and agreed to float with us. They even lent us a laminated river map to use as we went down the river.  Kevin was at the oars this time and it was one amazing run.  Thanks goodness for our two friends who navigated us safely through everything.

 lochsa river

lochsa river